Two letter Shorashim – There’s no such thing!

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    Shalom Mr. Klein
    I sometimes appreciate your articles. But when you offer me Rabbi Pappenheim’s ideas [like the root of NESIIM as being of two letters only and other words too], this means he is stuck in the Middle Ages [excuse my use of a Christian term] before the grammarians realized that there is no such thing.
    So please remove me from your mailing list.
    Thank you in advance.
    E. Shannon

    MY RESPONSE: I’m glad you sometimes enjoy my articles. You don’t have to agree with everything I say.
    I tried unsubscribing you per request, but apparently your email address is not subscribed to my email list anyways.
    Regarding the substance of your claim, I’m not sure why you think that there is a consensus amongst grammarians regarding biliteral or trilteral shorashim. Menachem–who arguably invented the concept of shorashim in the first place–clearly held that there can be biliteral and even monoliteral shorashim. There are those who argued with him, like Ibn Chayyuj, Ibn Janach, and more famously the Kimchis. But that doesn’t mean that Menachem is WRONG. As far as I am concerned, there is proof both ways, and both opinions are equally valid. It’s a machlokes. That said, grammarians, for one reason or another tend to just adopt whatever the Kimchis hold on any topic, but that if far from meaning that there is a consensus. People like Rabbis Shlomo Pappenheim, Aharon Marcus, and Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg follow the biliteral and monoliteral systems. It is certainly their prerogative to do so, especially because they are following the precedent of Menachem. Rabbi Pappenheim has a relatively systematic methodology for explaining his method based on the use of the letters האמנתי”ו as additions to biliteral and monoliteral shorashim. Granted, Rabbi Marcus and Rabbi Meckleburg (and, to some extent, Rav Hirsch) are “all over the place”, but they certainly have some good ideas.

    Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein
    Beitar Illit, Israel

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